"Your body is the first thing any child of man ever wanted. Therefore dispose yourself to be loved, to be wanted, to be available. Be there for them with a vengeance. Be a gracious, bending woman. Incline your ear, your heart, your hands to them.... To be a Mother is to be the sacrament - the effective symbol - of place. Mothers do not make homes, they are our home." from Bed and Board, Robert Farrar Capon

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Smell of Holiness

"When are you most holy? When you are most at your worldly vocation. When the baby cries, I hear God Himself calling me to change the poopy diaper. When you are in the poop to the fullest, you smell holiness. We are worldly and other worldly at the same time.”
~ excerpt from Steven Paulson in a podcast titled "Christian Liberty." He was paraphrasing Luther.

The small catechism has this wonderful question we can apply to most situations: “What does this mean?” One thing it means is that my quest to become more holy just might end up leading me back to the nursery changing table. There is no greater vocation than what is before us every day, that God has set before us: changing diapers, doing the laundry, making meals, etc. This brings glory to God and places importance on what most people would call the “dirty” jobs. After all, when I am restored to my vocation what could be more exciting than that fifth load of laundry; since it pleases God and smells not only like urp, but also like holiness!

On a side note: Someone should create a counter for blogs that would tally up the number of diapers we've changed. There could be some special badge to put on your site when you've changed your 500th,  1,000th,  or 5,000th diaper !  That would be a way more useful statistic than how many "friends" you have on Facebook. I mean really, how many of those so-called friends are actually committed enough to help out when there are poopy diapers to change? I consider that a true test of  friendship.


  1. Wow, Stephen Paulsen has a way with words. I never thought of describing diapers as being the smell of holiness. Fifth load of laundry--that has a familiar ring to it.

  2. This blog is so inspiring ladies!!! Thank you thank you thank you. I feel like my cup was dry and empty when I visited your blog tonight and after reading just a few articles, it's full of inspiration again.

    1. Jessica - I'm glad you have been encouraged by this blog. I'm always inspired and strengthened myself by encouragement from other mothers about our "motherly" vocation. Many things I know in my heart are true, but it's so easy to lose sight of the truth in the midst of our everyday tasks.

  3. Thanks for postings this Mary. My husband was encouraging me in the very thing last night and he referred me to this article which you posted so timely :) I'm thankful for these daily reminders because there is such a war against our calling.